He’s not shy about his unhappiness with the offensive performance, but Todd Steverson remains optimistic the White Sox aren’t finished.
The hitting coach didn’t hold back Monday afternoon when he discussed a group that has scored three runs or fewer in 29 of 55 games this season. Even with $67 million in contracts for Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera — who hit sixth again on Monday — the White Sox have averaged just 3.6 runs per game. They’re on pace to finish with 589 runs scored, but Steverson can’t see the strong effort continuing to produce such poor results.
“If I have to speak for the offense I will,” Steverson said. “I’m honest. It has been gut wrenching to watch some days. But that being said, don’t jump off no ships, because when it comes, it’s nice.”
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Steverson can understand the frustration fans have experienced this season.
The White Sox set out to improve upon an offense that showed signs at times in 2014 behind Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton but was too inconsistent. They added LaRoche and Cabrera, and aside from a brief stint, have had Avisail Garcia playing almost every day. They also added Geovany Soto to upgrade their catchers and added Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio to strengthen the bench.
But what the White Sox have produced isn’t telling of their effort, Steverson said.
“I would wonder the same things sometimes,” Steverson said. “But what is coming out is not indicative of the work. What everybody’s seeing and having to watch that on an inconsistent basis, but the work is not, not there. The work is being done, it just has to come out.
“Everybody always wants to play the blame game. This is not a blame-game thing. This is a team. It ain’t one person, it ain’t two people. It’s not this guy or that guy — if everybody could execute the game looks better.”
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With the exception of several big bats, the White Sox have faced an epidemic of offensive issues. Cabrera, Eaton, Alexei Ramirez, both catchers, Conor Gillaspie, Carlos Sanchez, the team’s problems have been everywhere.
But given the track record of Cabrera and Ramirez, a 2014 Silver Slugger, the White Sox continue to hold out belief that they’re going to hit. They also believe there’s much more there in the bats of Abreu and LaRoche. With the pitching they have and the rest of the American League failing to pull away, Steverson believes the White Sox could be much worse off. They just can’t let their poor start define their season.
“We haven’t done much consistently,” Steverson said. “That being said, and not to say that I’m raising the roof on this or anything, that we’re only five games under .500 and the offense hasn’t consistently showed what it can be, I’ll take it.”
“It could be worse. But don’t let this be who you are. Don’t just be complacent with, ‘Well we’re good every now and then.’ No, I don’t play that game.”